BRASILIA, Brazil – Robin van Persie and Daley Blind scored early goals to help give the Netherlands a 3-0 victory over host Brazil in the third-place match at the World Cup on Saturday.
The Netherlands, which lost to Argentina on penalties in the semifinal round, was runner-up in 2010 in South Africa.
Meanwhile, the loss added to Brazil’s frustration at the home tournament after a disastrous 7-1 setback against Germany. After the final whistle, Brazil was loudly booed by what was left of the crowd; many of the 68,034 at the National Stadium exited before a late third goal by the Dutch.
“It’s a terrible feeling, I don’t know what to say,” Brazil midfielder Oscar said. “After a huge loss to Germany, today we tried our best from the beginning to win third place but it wasn’t our day. We have to see what went wrong so we can improve for the future.”
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Van Persie converted a penalty kick three minutes into the match after Arjen Robben was brought down by Brazil captain Thiago Silva on the edge of the area.
Blind added to the lead in the 17th minute with a shot from near the penalty spot after defender David Luiz made a mistake while trying to clear a cross in front of the goal. Georginio Wijnaldum rounded out the scoring in injury time with a shot inside the near post.
“The most beautiful was our resilience. We were knocked out, but we came back and finished third,” Wijnaldum said. “We wanted to close it out well.”
Brazil looked lost from the start, making many of the same defensive mistakes that marked the historic defeat to the Germans four days earlier. The Netherlands took advantage with quick passes and speed in the attack.
Silva had to foul Robben after being beaten on the run, leading to van Persie’s firm left-foot shot into the right upper corner to put the Dutch ahead.
The Dutch wanted a red card for Silva, but Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi only gave him a yellow.
Silva had missed the semifinal against Germany because of a yellow-card suspension.
Blind added to the lead after Luiz failed to clear a cross, heading the ball right back to the Dutch defender for an easy goal.
Wijnaldum closed the scoring in injury time with a goal from inside the area after a cross by Daryl Janmaat.
“It is a good end,” Robben said. “You can wipe away the hangover (of the lost semifinal). I’m so proud. Compliments to this team. It’s a party to work with this team. We deserved more.”
Brazil wanted a penalty when Oscar went down in the area in the 68th, but the referee instead gave a yellow card to Oscar for diving.
“It’s frustrating,” Silva said. “We didn’t deserve to have it end like this. But, unfortunately, it’s football.
“I have to apologize to our people. The fans supported us even during the 7-1 loss and again today. They booed in the end, but it was normal. They have feelings, too.”
Brazil’s record in third-place World Cup matches dropped to 2-2.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari made six changes from the Brazil team that started in the loss against Germany, the national team’s worst defeat in its 100-year history.
Scolari, 65, declined to make a decision on his future Saturday, noting the president of Brazil’s soccer confederation, Jose Maria Marin, will make that call.
“We will show our report to him and we will see what happens,” said Scolari, who guided Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title. “My life goes on, regardless.”